28 Jun 2024

By Boris Tadchiev

In Car Accident

Hydroplaning occurs when a car’s tires lose traction with the pavement and skate on top of the rainwater that covers the road. This leads to a sudden loss of control over the vehicle’s steering and direction. Hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning, typically occurs during or just after heavy rain.

Driving too fast on wet roads is the typical cause of hydroplaning, but it can also occur if the vehicle’s tires are tread-worn or not inflated properly. In some cases, a poorly designed or maintained roadway may cause rainwater to pool on the road surface and increase the potential for hydroplaning during or after rainfall.

Nearly 5,700 people are killed, and more than 544,700 people are injured in motor vehicle accidents on wet pavement annually, the Federal Highway Administration says. Every year, over 3,400 people are killed, and over 357,300 people are injured in crashes during rainfall, which can also reduce visibility when heavy.

If you have been seriously injured in a hydroplaning car accident in Queens, NY, that was someone else’s fault, then you may have a right to seek compensation if your medical bills and losses exceed the limits of your Personal Injury Protection insurance. The car accident lawyers of the Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., have helped car collision victims throughout Queens seek just compensation for the serious injuries they have suffered in car accidents caused by another driver’s fault. We want to help you, too. To get started with a free review of your case, contact us today.

Is Hydroplaning an At-Fault Accident?

Hydroplaning accidents are often single-car accidents. But if a hydroplaning car or commercial truck spins into another vehicle and injures its driver or passengers, those who have been seriously injured may be able to hold the hydroplaning vehicle’s driver or other parties accountable for the harm done to them. You might need to file a personal injury lawsuit if the at-fault driver’s insurance declines to agree to a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses.

Insurance claims for injuries suffered in hydroplaning car accidents are often third-party claims. That is, a party other than the driver of either vehicle in the accident is determined to be at fault for the crash. In a hydroplaning accident case, we may seek compensation from:

  • Car Owner: If an investigation of the tires on the hydroplaning car finds that the tires were badly worn, we would seek to find out how long the tires had been on the car and when they were last checked. A car owner who shrugged off advice to replace worn tires or to heed a tire recall might be financially liable if their car hydroplaned later and caused a collision. A driver who was driving too fast for rainy conditions should be held accountable if they hydroplaned and injured someone, too. Personnel at the garage that serviced the vehicle and mounted the tires may have been negligent if they did not alert the car owner of worn tires.
  • Tire Manufacturers: Car tires are frequently recalled because of manufacturing flaws like loose treads or treads that are too shallow, which would increase susceptibility to hydroplaning. If a vehicle’s tires were defective, the tire manufacturer might be liable for a car accident caused by hydroplaning.
  • Local or State Government: New York laws require the construction of safe roads. State highway drainage design guidelines require inlets in curbs and other measures to reduce the amount of water that collects on roadways to try to avoid hydroplaning accidents. If our examination of the accident scene reveals problems with the roadway’s design or construction, we might be able to pursue a third-party claim against the local government responsible for building or maintaining the road in New York.
  • New York City Department of Transportation and/or Contractors: The NYC DOT is responsible for maintaining New York City’s streets, highways, and other transportation infrastructure. It often contracts with private companies to do the work. If our examination of the accident scene indicates that blocked drainage ways contributed to standing water on the road that may have caused the vehicle to hydroplane, we might pursue a claim against NYC DOT and/or its contractors. 

How Does N.Y. Auto Insurance Cover a Hydroplane Car Accident?

New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, which creates a two-tiered system for car accident claims.

After being injured in a car accident in New York, you would initially file a claim against the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that either you or your family member have. Car owners in New York must maintain at least $50,000 worth of PIP coverage. It covers family members who reside in the household and any other passengers injured in the covered vehicle.

Once you have exhausted your PIP coverage, if you have serious injuries, you may file a claim for compensation against the party at fault for your injuries. New York law defines a serious injury as a broken bone, an injury that is fully disabling for 90 days or longer, and more severe harm.

How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help After a Hydroplane Accident

It’s no simple task to accuse another driver, a tire manufacturer, or a government of causing your car hydroplaning accident and to gather evidence to establish fault. It’s not even a sure thing to file an insurance claim against a negligent driver.

Our Queens car accident lawyers at the Tadchiev Law Firm know the type of evidence to seek to build a persuasive case for compensation after a serious accident caused by hydroplaning. Our law firm pursues compensation for people who have been seriously injured in car accidents.

Our legal team has the knowledge and resources necessary to take on corporations and manufacturers, if necessary. We have experience with the complex notification guidelines for filing claims against NYC government agencies for road defects.

We can investigate the circumstances of the accident. We will handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company. If they are unwilling to offer the full and fair compensation you deserve, we will not hesitate to proceed to trial.

Call Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Queens, NY

If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident caused by hydroplaning, you should be focused on medical care and recovery, not insurance claims. If someone else caused the crash, let The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., review your legal options during a free consultation. We are aggressive advocates for car accident victims in Queens and are ready to demand full and fair compensation for you.

Contact us today. We won’t charge a legal fee unless we secure compensation for you. We’ll start with a free case review to answer any questions you have.